In a previous blog, we discussed how Novell® Filr represents the future of Novell file syncing technology. Though you can continue to use Novell iFolder® with confidence and we’ll continue to support it, we are not planning further development. We’ll be focusing our resources on developing Filr. We also mentioned that we’d go a little more in depth on the differences between the two solutions.
To understand the differences between iFolder and Filr, it helps to understand that they were built on different architectures. While iFolder uses its own, closed file repository, Filr lets you access what you already have on your file servers.
Novell iFolder was created and built as a desktop sync tool to allow your users access to their files from any computer. Filr also provides desktop syncing, but it is intended to fill a much broader need, starting with mobile file access for that growing universe of devices that keeps making its way into your IT ecosystem. Filr provides you with a solution that is enterprise grade and gives users access to their files wherever they are, from any device. The beauty behind this solution is that IT retains control over which files and folders users can access on the go, as well as which files they can share. Here’s a quick overview of what these differences mean:
Where the Files Live: Folders in iFolder can live anywhere and iFolder will sync them across your computers. This gives users a lot of flexibility—they could put files and folders all over the place. But with that flexibility can come a certain amount of chaos. With Filr, there’s a central home for all a user’s files. You can switch between My Files, Shared by Me and Shared with Me, but no matter what the file, you’ll know where to look (and the Filr search function will be able to find it). Filr is the connection between users and their universe of files. With iFolder, users populate or convert their iFolders. With Filr, the files are already there.
Managing the Backend: Because iFolder relied on its own closed repository, it required management from IT. IT had to assign storage quotas and perform other basic storage tasks to keep iFolder running. Because Filr simply accesses files you already have within your current infrastructure, IT is already managing all the storage and policies it needs to.
Encryption: One of the things iFolder has which Filr does not have is encryption. You can always use a third-party tool to encrypt individual Filr files, but the program itself does not offer encryption today. As with other features, the ability to encrypt files or folders is something we could add to Filr in the future, though the difference in architecture between the two solutions means the encryption would likely be implemented differently from the encryption in iFolder.
Clients: Unlike iFolder, Filr does not have a Linux desktop client. You can currently use a web browser or a WebDAV client to access Filr files on a Linux desktop. We could add a Linux desktop client for Filr, and will prioritize this feature based on customer feedback. If you want a Linux client, let us know!
We’re already committing to certain major updates to Filr, but many will be based on the feedback we receive from customers. It’s important we hear from you. Leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Also, if Filr can’t replace iFolder for you, we’d like to know why.
While iFolder has served and continues to serve all of us well, the surge in mobile workers means organizations need a solution like Novell Filr. We hope all of you will give it a try. If you have Novell Open Enterprise Server you’re already entitled to Filr, so there’s no reason not to test it out.